The Hiring Challenge and What Must Be Done

employee management

“Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” ― John Adams

Today, the hiring challenge is consistently one of the biggest strains on everyone in the industry. There is no crystal ball as to how long this challenge will exist in both the short and long term. As we continue to try everything to overcome the hiring challenges and labor shortage, we must carefully balance our focus and resources on other areas that may help us attract and retain talent. It is equally important to also focus on optimal use and management of existing resources. The following are three key areas to address:

  1. Onboarding:  After investing our resources and efforts in finding a new person, we must have a deliberate and effective onboarding system. There are a variety of tools, resources and inspiration available to review and formalize the onboarding process. In addition to Are you On Board with Employee Onboarding, there are a many great articles and videos in the R&R vault that can give you and your team the tools to develop or retool your WOW-boarding program.
    1. WOW-Boarding:  Make the onboarding experience amazing so the new hire will talk about the experience and possibly influence others to apply. Onboarding is a reflection on the company, its values, and the opportunities within. It is not unlike a first impression with a customer. We must be organized and have a plan to make a wow impression on our new hire.
      • Give them everything they need to succeed and grow in their new career.
    2. Written Plan: Make sure the onboarding process is documented so the team can engage and execute. The new hire will know what to expect as the tone is set for a solid beginning.
    3. Onboarding Committee and Onboarding Officers: Engage the team in the concept of WOW-boarding and take the process to a higher level.
      • Get creative.
      • Designate and train team members to be onboarding officers.
      • Ensure onboarding officers are consistently positive and engaged in the mission, purpose and values of the company.
      • Define the period that the new-hire spends with a designated onboarding officer.
  2. Employee Retention and Morale: Many companies benefit from employees who step up, are highly engaged, and work hard to keep things running and serving the customers in the midst of this labor shortage. However, strained human resources can be a stress inducer for many on the team. It is critical that we exercise care and give our attention to protect them from burnout; keep their sprits high.
    1. Burnout in the Restoration Industry Part 1, by Dr. Jake Avila and Dr. Randy Rapp, explains the dimensions of burnout and the findings of their 2019 study, which will give insight and understanding to the threat.
    2. We must be diligent on keeping a pulse on team morale. Not only are employees likely experiencing increase stress at work, but the world we live in also has many real dynamics and pressures that everyone will handle and process differently.
  3. Capacity and Productivity: Increasing capacity and improving productivity are as important as ever in the face of a labor shortage, and they aren’t impossible.
    1. In 7 Areas Restoration Companies Can Reduce or Eliminate Waste, Tim Hull presents seven categories of actionable areas that can improve the use of your resources. Upon execution of his tips for waste reduction/elimination, you can increase capacity and improve the bottom line.
    2. In Burnout in the Restoration Industry: Managing Workload | Part 2, methods for controlling and expanding capacity are explored. It should be noted that when workload exceeds capacity, managing customer expectations becomes of the highest importance.
    3. In Burnout in the Restoration Industry: Effective Workload Management | Part 3, there is a variety of approaches for managing each individual’s workload and potentially expanding it. Pay particular attention to the opportunity to evaluate the field staff’s functions, workflows and duties. Also consider adjusting, restructuring or reassigning certain functions to office/administrative staff to allow for expanded capacity of skilled team members in the field.
    4. Investing in the right technology, tools and supplies is of particular importance.  Properly deployed, everything from mops to saws may yield significant gains in efficiency and productivity.

These three key areas of focus may help overcome the challenges of today, but may also present opportunity for long-term improvements that will serve your company and team well when the next challenge arises.

I share with you what started out as a plan to make everyone lunch and turned into a bit of a fun, lighthearted series of lessons on: employee morale, tools, efficiencies, quality, development and more. Check out our video, Lessons Learned from Making Peanut Butter and Jelly.

May you have much continued Restoring Success and find opportunities.

The Benefits Of A Restoration Company

restoration management system, restoration management software, restoration softwareAs restoration specialists at iRestore, we know that the most important asset to your restoration company is your relationships with clients and with your own company members. This job is not for the weak of heart, and often requires hard labor and dealing with people who are in emotional and physical distress while their home has undergone some type of disaster. Building and maintaining relationships will not only make your jobs easier for your restoration company but also help your business to grow. That being said, we also know how hard it is to stay on top of everything and manage all working relationships in your business when there are so many details that must be attended to with each restoration project. This is why we have come up with a relationship management system (CRM) for restoration companies to allow you to manage all your relationships at both a company and individual level

 

Restoration Company Client Relationship Management

 

Here are just a few of the benefits that come with investing in a restoration company CRM:

 

  1. Organize all your contacts. Having all your business contacts and client contacts in one organized location will help you to make sure you are keeping up with communications. Our system will organize all contacts by company and location, making it easy to navigate and find who you are looking for. This software will also synchronize all contact information with job-specific relationships to avoid duplicate entries. Through this database, contacting any of your contacts is available at the click of a button. We have used an efficient design that integrates all your contacts into your job and contact management features that allow you to email or call any contact with ease. 
  2. Interactive map. We know how confusing it can be to find locations, schedule stops, and manage addresses. Our system uses an interactive map with a unique routing system that allows you to plan your day and design stops in the most efficient routes. It also helps you find locations of workers, clients, and suppliers with ease.
  3. Manage follow-ups. One of the biggest relationship builders is communication and following up in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this can also be one of the hardest areas to keep up on and easily slides through the cracks. With our CRM, you can manage contact-related tasks and all follow-ups in an easy-to-use format so nothing gets forgotten. You can easily add notes across multiple platforms such as iPhones, iPods, laptops, and desktops so everyone on the job, no matter their location, can see which calls and follow-ups have been made and what still needs to be done. We have added a tagging system so you can organize and report your contacts that are personal to your organization to make sure that everyone involved in a specific project is aware and up to date on what is going on. 
  4. Business growth. Our system has an automatic scoring system that will help you prioritize and organize your marketing approach, and even runs referral and contact reports so you can stay on top of your revenue streams and relationships. This is so beneficial in keeping old relationships and forming new ones to grow your restoration company. 

 

Organizational Awareness Can Lead to Greatness

restoration management development
August 5, 2021 Lisa Lavender, M.T.R., M.F.S.R., M.W.R. and Jon Isaacson

For years, I have believed that the soft skill piece of organizational awareness is a key to success and can be the root cause of many issues. Most importantly, it is a coachable skill. There are different spins and contexts to this competency, but all have one thing in common and that is that strong organizational awareness skills have a positive impact on individual performance, company objectives and customer service.

Every function, position and individual within the company plays an important role contributing to the results of the company. People who perform consistently excellent typically have a well-developed sense of organizational awareness. As Jon Isaacson states, your focus as an organization is on learning to Do it RightDo it Efficiently, and Do it Excellently. When those in a position of leadership have a clear understanding of this simple vision, they can create training approaches to develop consistency in these key areas. Organizational awareness is achieved when you align your cultural norms with your stated expectations.

There are two elements to organization awareness: 

  1. External: Understanding of how the organization interacts and presents itself to the outside world. Individuals with a keen understanding of organizational awareness regarding the external world around the organization can represent the company well, prioritize, and serve the customers using this sense and understanding.
  2. Internal: Understanding of both formal and informal processes of the company, the culture, and how roles and responsibilities impact others and company outcomes.

Simple, Practical Examples: 

Driving in a Company Vehicle

Example A: An individual traveling 20 miles an hour over the speed limit cuts somebody off, who swerves and nearly hits another vehicle.

Example B: Another individual slows down on a busy highway so that other vehicles safely merge. While traveling, a stranded driver on the side of the road needs help with a flat tire. The individual pulls over to assist.

The organization prides itself on being professional, courteous and serving others in their time of need. There may be policies and procedures that have been violated, the individual may not be engaged in the values of the company and there is a lack of organizational awareness the aggressive driver showed. The behavior displayed in the driving contradicts how the company interacts and presents itself to the outside world, reflecting negatively on the other employees and the company. On the other hand, even though it may not be in writing, the individual who pulled over to help someone in need did so confidently and showed a keen sense of organizational awareness.

Job Documentation

In Job Documentation: Just Do It, it is noted that developing an individual’s organizational awareness regarding this specific job function could improve the outcome. Someone with strong organizational awareness possesses an understanding of the impact the responsibility has on the workflows, efficiencies, customers, cashflows, company credibility and more. When someone is engaged in the purpose of the company and being a valued team member, organizational awareness can play a factor in their commitment to each task at hand. 

In developing The DYOJO Chart for training, Jon Isaacson shares how his team developed an acronym to help technicians and aspiring team leads build their organizational awareness with job documentation. While we all want our teams to perform more efficiently, as getting in and getting out is essential to producing happy customers and profitable jobs, we want to be careful about telling your team to simply go faster. Instead, encourage efficiency and remind them that the key to team speed is S.P.E.D.:

  • Scan: Observe the project. Determine the source and extent of damages.
  • Plan: Communicate with your team where you will start and what the first steps are so that everyone understands their role.
  • Execute: Get to work and adapt your plan as you learn new information on the job.
  • Document: We don’t get paid for what we do; we get paid for what we can accurately document.

Organizational awareness can present itself in many aspects of a company and individual performance. The action of changing a password that is needed by others without communicating or notifying them is an example of something seemingly insignificant. This small example illustrates a lack of understanding that others are impacted by the change in password. The result is inefficiency in the operation and frustration put onto others.

People who have good organizational awareness: 

  • Prioritize work based on an understanding of how it impacts other co-workers, customers, and organization goals and values.
  • Effectively communicate and get information to people who need it.
  • Exercise care in the execution of their work in context of it impacting co-workers, customers and the organization.
  • Positively impact others, increase efficiency, and optimize service.
  • Represent the company and values well.

In a recent conversation with Jon Isaacson, he noted the power of being accountable to your co-workers and the power it has on individual performance. This power can be harnessed when we nurture and give organizational awareness.  Jon ties things together by noting that business owners love to talk about accountability but often struggle to build and maintain it. If you want to have true accountability you must understand that it is a by-product of clarity. Does your organization have a clear vision and purpose? I’m not talking about having cute posters on the wall with stated values that nobody, including yourself, follows. Rather, what are the core values of your team, your shared philosophy of work and your real habits? You have expectations, but if they are not realistic, you will need to adapt your mindset. Your team has cultural norms, but if these habits are not in alignment with your vision and values, you will need to adjust your approach. With clear expectations and consistent follow-through, you will develop organizational awareness over time, which will promote accountability among team members. When the roles and responsibilities are clear, your team members can better understand what and how their actions impact the team. When Team Member A understands that they are accountable to Team Member B, regardless of their position, then they aren’t just working for a company, they are working for each other.

Some tips to increase and develop organizational awareness in your organization:  

  1. Give it a name and talk about it: Make sure everyone in the company knows what it is and the importance of doing each job with a sense of organizational awareness.
  2. Performance reviews: Include this soft skill on reviews and acknowledge those who do their duties using this sense and develop/educate those that need help.
  3. Documented best practices, processes, procedures: As Jon notes, clarity is key.
  4. Training and employee development: Each person must be given the knowledge, skills and understanding to do their work with organizational awareness.   

Understanding Restoration Project Management Software Strategies

restoration project management software, restoration management, restoration softwareWhen providing restoration services, there are many steps that must be followed in the process. To ensure a successful restoration in a timely manner, there is a lot of planning that needs done. A few things that must be considered are, how extensive is the damage? How soon can restoration efforts begin? What is a timeline for repairs? What equipment will need to be used and when? Which technicians will be available to respond? What repairs will need done? What will be replaced? Then there are the actual restoration steps that have to be planned, for example: water damage restoration follows these general actions:

Initial Inspection

When the restoration team arrives on the scene, they will perform a visual inspection. First, the source of the water has to be identified and stopped. Then, many companies utilize moisture meters and infrared cameras to determine the extent of the damage. With this information, a course of action can be planned and restoration efforts can begin.   

Prepare the area for restoration.

Most projects will require services to move, pack out, or protect furniture and other belongings from the area to prevent them from sustaining any further damage. It is also to ensure no other dangers are present in the flooded area, like electrical issues. Once the area is cleared out and safe to enter, the next step can begin. 

Water removal and drying.

All excess water and moisture must be removed and dried as quickly as possible. Mold growth can begin within 24 hours after water damage, so the drying process needs to be quick and efficient. By using commercial-grade air movers and desiccant dehumidifiers, adequate drying can be achieved. Many companies also utilize thermal or infrared imaging to detect excess moisture that gets trapped in materials. Utilizing the best equipment will produce the best results, and getting the right equipment on the scene at the right time will make or break the restoration process.

Mold remediation.

Even after everything is dried, mold spores could still be present. To mitigate all risks of mold, many companies will apply antimicrobial to prevent mold growth. This step also requires monitoring moisture levels daily during the drying process to ensure complete and thorough drying. We follow the whole process through to make sure there is no moisture left. To ensure this happens, precise planning and scheduling are necessary. 

This is just a brief rundown of a restoration process, and it is still pretty overwhelming as is. Imagine how much more difficult the restoration process is without the proper management, scheduling, and documentation. Effective scheduling of inventory and staff are a must when planning a successful restoration, not to mention proper record keeping of costs and hours just to name a few. This is why iRestore has developed a restoration project management software. We have had years of experience in restoration services, and have learned the hard way how to better manage each project. This software was created for restoration companies by a restoration company, so every possible service you could need, from charting, scheduling, and even document storage, is included. Our software will help you keep track of each and every step in the process, and make sure no detail is overlooked. We know how hard restoration work is, so let us help make it a little easier by providing you with the right management software to make each restoration project organized and successful.

Software Management That Understands You And Your Restoration Client’s Needs

restoration management system, restoration management software, restoration softwareEvery time your office line rings, you have a client with a big problem- it’s the nature of the restoration business. Your reputation is at stake; you and your team will work as hard as you can to keep the client safe and satisfied. But what if you had better tools for your team?  

From flood to fire restoration jobs, you can now manage everything systematically in your business with IRestore restoration project management. This robust relationship management system (CRM) allows you to easily manage all of your relationships at both a company level and individual level, including your previous customers and subcontractors. 

IRestore is a vertical market software designed for the insurance restoration industry. Utilizing the latest in iPhone and iPad technology, our software brings the data from the field in real time. Out in the field, you will enjoy instant access to all information, including your job-related activity and the ability to quickly create a voice-to-text note about your visit in seconds. Back in the office, this system gives you the tools to build long-term relationships and strategic success and growth. The continuously changing needs and demands of the service based industry creates opportunities, and this constantly evolving software can help you capitalize. 

Notes are a breeze with access to all of our platforms: Phone, iPad, laptop, and desktop. Referral and contact reports help keep a pulse on your revenue streams and relationships. The mapping feature can help your team organize routes and see hidden patterns. 

Equipment Management

Whether you want to use the efficient barcode feature or track your equipment with a number system, you and your team will find equipment tracking a breeze with our user-friendly interface that can be implemented across all platforms. This is a true management system that allows for useful reporting, equipment data, and repair and maintenance records. Some features for equipment management are:

  • Repairs and Maintenance can be easily tracked and documented
  • Our fully integrated tracking system allows you to assign equipment to jobs, storage, vehicles, and employees
  • All assigned equipment not “pulled” on the last day of a job is kept track of to help ensure that no equipment is left behind
  • The flexible equipment reporting feature allows you to monitor and evaluate your inventory anytime and in many useful ways
  • Create detailed logs by pulling information based on a specific date/time to make custom invoices, estimates, and supporting documentation
  • The IRestore Barcode system creates consecutive scanning, allowing for fast and efficient equipment transfers. Keep track of equipment’s serial number, purchase date, price, and more
  • Keep track of all of your hard assets with this system. Assigning phones, devices, computers, meters and anything else allows you to assign responsibility to individual employees and easily review in our HR feature

Also included in the product are exclusive training opportunities, special event invitations, and access to the Development Portal.

Request A Demo

Our free, no-obligation live webinar demonstration will give you a close look at our system and give you the opportunity to have your questions answered. Fill out the form at /irestore.io/ to schedule your demonstration for an affordable solution to manage your client’s jobs, those relationships and your company.  

 

The IRestore team will walk you through the user-friendly and designed by Restorers for Restorers, showing you advantages and efficiencies you don’t have now. This software includes a fully integrated CRM that will even allow you to continually engage previous customers and other important relationships.

IRestore Restoration Management Software

IRestore believes that successful restoration companies are built by owners that collaborate and value their teams. By maximizing your staff’s time and talents, you can grow the business and keep key employees satisfied.  Great people, great equipment and great tools will lead them to long-term success.

IRestore offers a complete solution by serving the individuals and team while supporting excellence in service. Call or request a demonstration of how your team can be more efficient.